Now that Joaquin Phoenix will officially star as Batman's wise-cracking nemesis in a solo Joker origin film, it's unclear what version of the character his design will be modeled after. However, seeing as the Joker has taken many shapes and forms over the course of his fictional existence, there is now one depiction of the character that showcases what Phoenix might look like in the role.
Though there is no official synopsis for the movie, The Joker will depict a gritty "cautionary tale" of the titular villain set in the '80s, existing in a universe outside of DC's current cinematic comic adaptations like Wonder Woman and Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman. It will reportedly headline a smaller branch of DC adaptations under a new banner called DC Dark. That said, the only confirmed details surrounding the movie are Phoenix being cast as the Joker himself and Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) directing and co-writing alongside Scott Silver (The Fighter). Now, to whet the appetites of diehard DC fans, some new fan art shows off what Phoenix might look like as the Joker.
Australian graphic artist known only as Kode A. - or by his Twitter handle BossLogic - tried his hand (for a second time) at depicting what Joaquin Phoenix might look like in the upcoming Joker origin movie. He posted the image on his official Twitter account, showing off a meticulously detailed, gloomy, and gritty depiction of what the new film iteration of the Joker might look like. Staying true to the classic green hair, red lips, and purple suit, BossLogic applied some own unique and subtle accents to differentiate his design from previous designs. For example, his white face paint appears to be cracked and peeling, showing off similarly pale skin underneath, and his suit is plaid, as opposed to being its traditional solid print. Otherwise, the fan art showcases how exactly Phoenix's physical features will look underneath the Joker's familiar clown-like facade.
Not unlike Academy Award winner Jared Leto, who played the Joker in Suicide Squad, Phoenix's interpretation of the character will no doubt be compared to the late Heath Ledger's portrayal in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (which earned the actor a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role), as well as Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the character in Tim Burton's Batman. That said, Phoenix has openly likened the concept of playing a character that has already been portrayed on screen to theatre, adding, "I think that genre, comic books, kind of lends itself to having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way. It’s kind of built into the source material in some ways."
Taking Phoenix's statement into consideration - as well as the fact that Warner Bros would have likely carried through with the movie with or without him - Phoenix is certainly an inspired choice for the Joker, having showcased a wide range of talent in movies like Walk the Line (which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role), Gladiator, Her, and this year's You Were Never Really Here. And if BossLogic's portrait is anything to go by, Phoenix definitely fits the part from a visual perspective.
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019